Thursday 31 January 2008

adventures in clothland

My trial pack arrived! Wooooooo! It's been great fun trying out all the nappies, and yes - that does mean that I need to get a life. I do think that nappy hire schemes are a great idea, though. I think it's an excellent way to get your head round the multitude of cloth nappies out there without spending a small fortune.
Some things that have surprised me:
-they're pretty easy to use. The all-in-ones are a no-brainer, and the two-folds aren't much more complicated. I'm leaning more towards the Aplix (Velco) fasteners because the poppers are fiddly for my crippled hands and the Nappi Nippas are hard to get used to. But I'll keep trying.
-there isn't much more laundry than usual. Let's face it. I do an insane amount of laundry now that we have two kids, so a few extra bits of cloth isn't making any difference.
-the "washing nappies means using much more electricity and detergents" argument isn't really applicable. You only use 1/2 the normal amount of laundry detergent when you wash nappies and you don't use fabric softener (it coats the fibers and makes them less absorbent.) It's better to air dry them, or you can toss them in the dryer on low for 10 minutes to keep them soft. I put some vinegar in for the rinse cycle to help keep them soft and it worked really well. I only had white wine vinegar in the house so I did a posh wash. Tomorrow: nappy washing with a balsamic reduction. I'm kidding.
-they aren't leaking all over the place. In fact, the only leak I had was when I put her in a disposable on Tuesday night. That'll learn me.
-I'm not changing Mia any more often than I did with disposables.

This is partially for my own benefit and for anyone else wondering about switching to cloth, but here are my thoughts so far on the ones we've tried.

Motherease These Motherease nappies are Canadian! CANADIAN! They are a two-part nappy, but they cleverly use poppers to attach the booster. This means the booster doesn't slide around or go wonky when you attempt to get your wriggling baby into the nappy. They are easily adjustable and rise up quite far in the back, which should help contain those lovely poo explosions. I'm also trying the Motherease wraps, which work really well over bulkier nappies. They dry very quickly out of the machine and the wrap stood up to the "overnight with a pee happy baby" test.

Fuzzi Bunz How can you not love the name Fuzzi Bunz? Go on, say it and try not to giggle! Okay fine, say it ten times after you've had a pint of vodka, THEN I bet you'll find it hilarious. These nappies are incredibly easy to use - slap 'em on like a disposable. My only concern is that when the nappy leaks, you need to change the whole thing because it's an all-in-one. With the two-parters, you just remove the nappy and wipe down the inside of the wrap to reuse it (if it's wet only.) I also wonder if they're good for overnight even with a booster as they don't seem thick enough to absorb for 12 hours. They are very cute and they dry very quickly after a wash.

Tots Bots No, she's not wearing a terrytowel cuddly toy on her bum, it's a Tots Bots nappy. They are snuggly and adorable and Scottish, so kudos to nappies that don't rack up a lot of air miles. They are super absorbent, which isn't surprising when you notice how thick they are. It worked extremely well overnight and lasted the full 12 hours (look, if YOU want to wake my baby by changing her and then spend ages trying to settle her, go for it.) My only complaint is that they're huge and take a while to air dry indoors. I've asked Babykind to send me the Tots Bots Bamboozles which are made from bamboo ("Ouch!" I hear you say) and are supposed to be thinner and more absorbent than cotton. I am loving the Tots Bots fleece liners - very soft, you don't need to buy paper liners if you use these, and they were dry by the end of the spin cycle.

My bum DOES look big! Better do some leg lifts. And finally, Bambino Mio courtesy of Caroline. I really like these because the wraps can be wiped and the velcro makes them very easy to do up and adjust. The only thing I might do is add extra boosters to these because the nappy is really just a thick muslin with a paper liner, and I think they need a bit of oomph for a heavy wetter like Mia.

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